Italian Turkey Meatballs

We love these juicy, Italian turkey meatballs in homemade tomato sauce. Serve them over your favorite pasta, pizza or sandwich! Italian Turkey Meatballs I buy a package of ground turkey every week with no plan on how I am going to use them. Some days I make tacos, turkey meatloaf or ground turkey skillet. But […]

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We love these juicy, Italian turkey meatballs in homemade tomato sauce. Serve them over your favorite pasta, pizza or sandwich!

talian Turkey Meatballs
Italian Turkey Meatballs

I buy a package of ground turkey every week with no plan on how I am going to use them. Some days I make tacos, turkey meatloaf or ground turkey skillet. But most days I turn them into meatballs. And my family loves them, so that’s a big win! I have SO many turkey meatball recipes in the archives, some highlights are Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs, Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet, and Asian Turkey Meatballs.

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Warm Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Peppers, Mozzarella

This Warm Salad with sauteed Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Peppers, and fresh Mozzarella with balsamic is served over cold, crunchy romaine lettuce. Great for lunch or dinner! Warm Salad I love salad, but sometimes having something warm feels more satiating, which is what I love about this easy salad. You can make it even more filling […]

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This Warm Salad with sauteed Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Peppers, and fresh Mozzarella with balsamic is served over cold, crunchy romaine lettuce. Great for lunch or dinner!

Warm Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Peppers and Mozzarella
Warm Salad

I love salad, but sometimes having something warm feels more satiating, which is what I love about this easy salad. You can make it even more filling by adding some grilled chicken or shrimp for extra protein. If you love this easy warm salad recipe, you should also try this BBQ Chicken Salad, Blackened Chicken Salad, or this Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon.

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Instant Pot Risotto with Prosciutto, Peas, and Herbs

Making risotto in the Instant Pot is the easiest and quickest way to make it, eliminating the need to watch and stir it the entire time. Instant Pot Risotto Instant Pot Risotto is the fastest and easiest way to make risotto! This spring recipe is made with prosciutto, peas, and herbs for a delicious side […]

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Making risotto in the Instant Pot is the easiest and quickest way to make it, eliminating the need to watch and stir it the entire time.

Instant Pot Risotto with Prosciutto, Peas, and Herbs
Instant Pot Risotto

Instant Pot Risotto is the fastest and easiest way to make risotto! This spring recipe is made with prosciutto, peas, and herbs for a delicious side dish and a great addition to your holiday table. You can also modify some of my other risotto recipes like Spring Asparagus Risotto, and Scallops Over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto using this cooking method. See all my Instant Pot recipes here.

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Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups

Go meatless with these tasty Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups! They’re much faster to make and bake than a traditional lasagna. They are also great for meal prep and freezing. Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups We love comforting pasta dishes, like Instant Pot Baked Ziti and Spaghetti Carbonara, and lasagna roll-ups are some of our favorites. I […]

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Go meatless with these tasty Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups! They’re much faster to make and bake than a traditional lasagna. They are also great for meal prep and freezing.

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups
Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll-ups

We love comforting pasta dishes, like Instant Pot Baked Ziti and Spaghetti Carbonara, and lasagna roll-ups are some of our favorites. I have so many versions of them that they are always in our family’s rotation. These Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna Roll-Ups are adapted from my Spinach Lasagna Roll-Up recipe. These new vegetarian lasagna rolls have more filling, plus artichokes, making them perfect for Spring. See more dinner ideas here.

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Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto is creamy Italian rice dish made with Arborio rice and loaded with mushrooms. A vegetarian dish that is comfort in a bowl! Mushroom Risotto Although risotto can be a little time consuming, it’s so worth it! It’s not complicated, it just requires attention as you need to slowly stir in the stock, let […]

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Mushroom Risotto is creamy Italian rice dish made with Arborio rice and loaded with mushrooms. A vegetarian dish that is comfort in a bowl!

Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom Risotto

Although risotto can be a little time consuming, it’s so worth it! It’s not complicated, it just requires attention as you need to slowly stir in the stock, let it absorb, stir in some more and repeat until it’s tender. I used Baby Bella (crimini) mushrooms, but you can use portobella, porcini, shiitake, white button or a combination of all four. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, try this Asparagus Risotto, Butternut Squash Risotto, Creamy or these Seared Scallops over wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto.

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Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast

If you’re looking for a healthy and filling vegetarian soup that’s quick, cheap and easy, this Escarole and Chickpea Soup is it. Escarole and Chickpea Soup You’ve been asking me for new soup recipes, so I am delivering! Italian Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast is easy, comforting and healthy, with only 7 ingredients, […]

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If you’re looking for a healthy and filling vegetarian soup that’s quick, cheap and easy, this Escarole and Chickpea Soup is it.

Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast
Escarole and Chickpea Soup

You’ve been asking me for new soup recipes, so I am delivering! Italian Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast is easy, comforting and healthy, with only 7 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper, and ready in under 20 minutes. My favorite part is the sourdough toast that I rub with a raw garlic clove – something my dad always used to do, which reminds me of him. This soup is also budget-friendly as it uses one of my favorite pantry staples – chickpeas, which are so healthy and high in fiber. More chickpea recipes that you could try are Harissa Shrimp and Chickpeas and Chickpea Tomato Soup.

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Crock Pot Italian Sloppy Joe

Crock Pot Italian Sloppy Joes made with Italian chicken or turkey sausage, tomatoes, peppers and onions made in the slow cooker for an easy weeknight meal. Italian Sloppy Joe This easy dinner recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights. If you don’t want to serve this on toast, you can have this over soft potato […]

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Crock Pot Italian Sloppy Joes made with Italian chicken or turkey sausage, tomatoes, peppers and onions made in the slow cooker for an easy weeknight meal.

Crockpot Italian Sloppy Joe
Italian Sloppy Joe

This easy dinner recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights. If you don’t want to serve this on toast, you can have this over soft potato buns, 0r over spaghetti squash or pasta. See more Slow Cooker recipes here.

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Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta is quick and easy to prepare, but feels extra special and luxurious. It’s the perfect dish for special occasions!

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and I thought you might need a little somethin-somethin’ special to cook your honey (even if YOU are your own honey—show yourself some love). This extra luxurious Shrimp Alfredo is super easy and feels just as fancy as going out to eat. …Except way less expensive and way more special because you did it yourself. ;) I promise this creamy shrimp alfredo pasta will earn you some extra points!

Shrimp alfredo pasta in the skillet with tongs twirling the pasta

What’s in Shrimp Alfredo?

This shrimp alfredo pasta is what I like to call an “Amerifredo” or an American-style alfredo sauce. Authentic Roman alfredo sauce does not include any heavy cream or garlic, and it derives all of its creaminess and flavor from butter and really good Parmesan. But if you’re used to the “alfredo” served in American restaurants or bought in a jar in U.S. grocery stores, that’s what this recipe delivers.

This incredibly simple dish features a rich and luxurious Parmesan cream sauce, tender shrimp, and hearty fettuccine noodles. The simple creamy alfredo sauce is made with butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan, and it comes together in minutes. Then just add some fettuccine and juicy shrimp, which literally take about three minutes to cook in the skillet, and your fancy-pants pasta is done! I promise this one is so easy that anyone can do it!

Can I substitute the Heavy Cream?

The heavy cream is very important for creating the correct texture in this ultra-luxurious sauce, so I don’t suggest replacing it. The low-moisture content of the heavy cream allows the Parmesan to melt in smoothly without clumping like it would with milk. Another option, if you don’t have heavy cream, is to do a milk and cream cheese combination. The cream cheese will help the Parmesan melt in smoothly and produce a thick sauce, similar to heavy cream. You can use the sauce in my Sun Dried Tomato Pasta as a guide.

What Kind of Parmesan to Use

We all know that freshly shredded Parmesan is far superior to the grated Parmesan that comes in a can, both in flavor and melting ability. But I’m here to say this: if all you have is grated Parmesan, use it! I specifically tested this recipe using grated Parmesan just to make sure that it would be delicious no matter what. And if you can get the good kind you’ll just enjoy it that much more. :)

What to Serve with Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

Because this pasta is so rich and creamy, I highly suggest pairing it with a simple side salad to help lighten up the plate and cut through all that creaminess. Making sure to dress the salad with a light vinaigrette will help balance the heavy cream and not overpower the flavors in the pasta. To compliment the garlic in the alfredo sauce, you can also add a little homemade garlic bread on the side. :) Garlic bread is never a bad idea! And then a nice cool and crisp glass of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc would really make the meal complete!

Shrimp alfredo pasta in a bowl with a fork on the side
Shrimp alfredo pasta in a bowl with a fork on the side

Shrimp Alfredo

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta is quick and easy to prepare, but feels extra special and luxurious. It's the perfect dish for special occasions!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $8.40 recipe / $2.10 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 592kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined $4.99
  • 1/2 lb. fettuccine $0.67
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided $0.20
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.00
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan* $1.08
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • If your shrimp is frozen, thaw and peel before beginning. You can remove the tails or leave the tails on, if you prefer.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Once boiling, add the fettuccine and boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve a ½ cup of the starchy water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the fettuccine is boiling, prepare the shrimp and alfredo sauce. Place the peeled shrimp on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet with butter. Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or just until opaque and pink (do not overcook the shrimp). Transfer the cooked shrimp to a clean bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet along with the minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until it is very fragrant but not brown.
  • Add the heavy cream to the skillet and whisk to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the cream to come up to a simmer.
  • Whisk the Parmesan into the hot cream until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta and cooked shrimp back to the skillet with the sauce (make sure to add any liquid from the bowl of shrimp). Toss everything until coated in sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick or dry, add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.
  • Taste the pasta and add more salt or pepper if needed. Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve!

Notes

*This recipe works with both grated or shredded Parmesan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 852mg | Fiber: 2g
Close up of a bowl full of shrimp alfredo pasta with a fork

How to Make Shrimp Alfredo Pasta – Step by Step Photos

peeled shrimp in a colander next to a bowl of shrimp peels

Thaw and peel ½ lb. of medium (36/40) shrimp. Remove the tails, if preferred. Leaving the tails on is more visually stunning, but can be more difficult to eat since you’ll have to remove the tail with each bite.

A box of fettuccine open on one end with pasta coming out

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Once boiling, add ½ lb. fettuccine and boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve a ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the fettuccine in a colander.

Dried and seasoned shrimp on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking, begin to prepare the shrimp and alfredo sauce. Spread the shrimp out onto a clean cutting board. Pat dry with paper towel, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cooked shrimp in the skillet

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is fully melted, swirl the butter to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side or just until the shrimp turn opaque and pink. Do not overcook the shrimp. Remove the shrimp to a clean bowl.

Butter and garlic in the skillet

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with 4 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until very fragrant but not browned.

Heavy cream being poured into a skillet with garlic

Add 1 cup heavy cream to the skillet. Whisk to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Continue to heat over medium-low until the cream comes up to a simmer.

Parmesan being added to the cream in the skillet.

Add ¾ cup grated Parmesan to the simmering cream. Whisk until the Parmesan is melted into the cream and the sauce thickens. Season the sauce with ⅛ tsp salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Shrimp and pasta added back to the sauce

Add the cooked and drained fettuccine and cooked shrimp to the skillet with the sauce. Make sure to add any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl of shrimp because that will add extra shrimp flavor to the sauce.

Pasta and shrimp tossed in the alfredo sauce with tongs on the side

Toss the pasta and shrimp in the sauce until fully coated. If the sauce becomes too thick or dry, add some of the reserved pasta water and toss until it’s mixed into the sauce. Give the pasta a taste and add more salt or pepper if you’d like.

finished shrimp alfredo in the skillet with tongs

Finish with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley for color and serve!

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.

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I’ve made a few variations of pasta sauce over the years, but this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is definitely one of my favorites. The long slow simmer caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes and creates a depth of flavor that can’t be matched. Plus, what more could you ask for than to just throw some ingredients in a pot, forget about it for 8 hours, and then come back to a rich, delicious homemade sauce? Then you can divide the sauce into portions, freeze, and you’ll have delicious homemade pasta sauce on hand for quick busy weeknight dinners.

Originally posted on 11/4/2011, updated 1/12/2022.

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker with a spoon, garnished with parsley

Why make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?

Pasta sauce can be bought premade really cheaply, so I think in a lot of cases it does make sense to just buy a jar and go with it. But if you want to have a little more control over the quality and ingredients of your pasta sauce while still keeping costs low, this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is a great option. 

What Size Slow Cooker to Use

This recipe makes about 2 quarts of sauce, so I would suggest using a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. You don’t need anything fancy, just a very basic slow cooker with basic functions like warm, low, and high. I do find that slow cookers made with a thick ceramic insert (or “crock”) cook much more evenly than metal inserts, like you’d have when using the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot.

Why Add Balsamic Vinegar?

The balsamic vinegar in this recipe adds a subtle depth and brightness to the sauce. It can seem strong at first, but it mellows out as the sauce is cooked. If you’re not a fan of balsamic vinegar or just don’t have any on hand, this recipe will still make a really amazing sauce even if you leave it out.

Can I Add Meat?

I’ve tried this sauce before with ground beef and I found the cook time to be far too long for the ground beef, so if you do want to add meat I suggest browning it separately and then just stirring it into the sauce after cooking. You can also check out my quick Weeknight Pasta Sauce for an easy and flavorful meat sauce option.

How to Freeze Pasta Sauce

This recipe makes about 7 cups. I suggest dividing the sauce into two or three cup portions before freezing so you can take out just enough for one recipe at a time to thaw. Let the spaghetti sauce cool completely in the fridge, then transfer to freezer-safe containers to freeze. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for about three months, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your freezer. If you use quart-sized freezer bags and freeze them laying flat they stack nicely in the freezer without taking up much space. 

You can thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight or just cut the bag away from the frozen sauce, place it in a saucepot, and heat over medium-low until it’s heated through (stir occasionally).

This sauce goes great with Homemade Meatballs (also freezer-friendly)!

A plate of pasta covered in sauce with bread on the side

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker garnished with parsley

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.
Course Dinner, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $4.40 recipe / $0.63 per cup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 77kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes $2.00
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.69
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil $0.30
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.14
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.40
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Place both in a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and butter to the slow cooker. Stir everything together well.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking, give it a good stir, then add salt to taste. Start with just ½ tsp of salt and add more if needed (I added 1 tsp). Use the sauce immediately, refrigerate, or freeze for later.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 393mg | Fiber: 1g

Homemade pasta sauce being spooned over a plate of spaghetti

How to Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – Step By Step Photos

Onion and garlic in slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add both to a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.

Tomatoes added to slow cooker

Add 2 28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes and one 6oz. can of tomato paste to the slow cooker.

Seasonings added to the slow cooker

Also add 1 Tbsp dried basil, 1.5 tsp dried oregano, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 4 Tbsp butter to the slow cooker. 

Sauce ingredients being stirred together before cooking

Give the ingredients a good stir until they’re evenly incorporated.

Simmered pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. After cooking, it will look a little like the photo above (the white is just the milk fats from the butter). Give it a good stir.

Finished pasta sauce in the slow cooker garnished with parsley

Add salt to the sauce to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon and add more until the flavors pop. I ended up using one teaspoon total. 

Side view of pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Use the slow cooker spaghetti sauce immediately or refrigerate then freeze for long-term storage.

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Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is an Italian chicken dish made with pounded chicken breast in a lemon-wine butter sauce with capers and parsley. Chicken Piccata If you’re looking for more ways to make chicken breast exciting, you’ll love this Chicken Piccata recipe. Rather than using a ton of butter and oil, my dish uses much less oil […]

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Chicken Piccata is an Italian chicken dish made with pounded chicken breast in a lemon-wine butter sauce with capers and parsley.

Chicken Piccata
Chicken Piccata

If you’re looking for more ways to make chicken breast exciting, you’ll love this Chicken Piccata recipe. Rather than using a ton of butter and oil, my dish uses much less oil and just a touch of butter. The flavor is so good that you won’t miss it! My daughter, who loves anything with lemon, really loves this dish. If you want to try this chicken piccata recipe with fish, try Flounder Picatta.

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